If the only tool you have is a hammer you tend to see every problem as a nail.
In the midst of all the discussion about welfare reform, it turns out that the major welfare beneficiary in our country is the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame. The wealthiest family in America is worth more than $100 billion. One way they got so rich is by paying workers so little that tens of thousands of Wal-Mart employees use food stamps to feed their families and Medicaid to pay doctor bills. So with the number of Americans living in poverty in America near a 60-year high, with the gap between the rich and the rest of us growing wider and with youth unemployment in America at staggering levels, one proposal Bernie backs is raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. It’s been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009. In addition to helping workers, a catch-up raise would have a side benefit. There would be “real savings for taxpayers who would not have to subsidize Wal-Mart because of its low wages,” Bernie told Chris Hayes on MSNBC. Some Republicans don’t just want to keep the minimum wage from going up. In a blunt exchange at a Senate hearing, Sen. Lamar Alexander told Bernie the minimum wage, on the books since the 1930s, should be abolished.
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The Perfect Scam: How Walmart Is Screwing Employees Out of All of Their Benefits
I wrote an article a while back detailing how evil Walmart really is as a company. I have a source who works for them who often details the disgusting business practices of this company and how it treats its employees.
Well, it’s getting even worse.
My source actually works for Sam’s Club (which is owned by Walmart) in a different city than where I live. But they’ve assured me that if each club isn’t experiencing this yet, they soon will. I have also seen and verified all documentation backing up my source’s claims, and have verified with certainty that they are true.
See, what Walmart has done is set the bar for which part-time associates (employees are called associates at Walmart) can receive benefits at an average of 24 hours per week. At this threshold an employee is given the most minimal options for health coverage, about 8-12 hours of personal days and maybe 12 or so hours of vacation per year. It really all depends on how long you’ve worked for the company.
In general, the more hours you average, the better benefits packages you qualify for and the more personal/vacation time you get.
However, recently an email was sent out from corporate to all clubs with instructions not to allow part-time associates to go over 24 hours. They’re essentially treating going over 24 hours just like they do overtime pay. Meaning if you go over, someone’s getting written up.
What this does is ensure part-time associates are prevented from hitting that magic 24 hour average which would qualify them for minimum benefits.
Oh, but it gets better.
They’re not scheduling associates for two or three 8 hour shifts — oh no, they’re scheduling them four or five 4 hour shifts. They’re still working associates the equivalent of a 5 day workweek, just drastically reducing their hours. So they’re making it very difficult for these associates to even get a second job.
In fact, at this Sam’s, they do schedules 3 weeks at a time and they just pulled the already made schedules for the next 2 weeks, completely redoing them to make the required cuts.
Then if you want to get the max 23.99 hours per week, you’ll need open availability—otherwise you might end up being scheduled zero hours, which has already happened to a few associates at my source’s club. Yes, you’ve read that right, there are people who “work” for Walmart that are now getting scheduled absolutely no hours simply because their new scheduling system is set around open availability and punishes those who might have a limited schedule.
So what Walmart is wanting is for their part-time employees to have wide-open availability, yet work less than 24 hours per week.
And if you happen to be scheduled, say, 22 or 23 hours and want to pick up more—nope, you won’t be allowed.
Then don’t even think about full-time. About 15% of the associates at this club are full-time and it’s nearly impossible to get one of those spots. And no, they don’t create more for hard work.
In fact, hard work doesn’t even matter. My source said after one of their supervisors bent over backwards to get their numbers up and fix a lot of problems they were experiencing on the front end of the club, their hard work and dedication was rewarded with—a 20% reduction in their hours after this email was sent out.
Even better, recently when a 3 year associate turned his 2 weeks notice in after having their hours cut from 36 per week to 18—he was told to not even bother coming in for the next 2 weeks of his shifts. They just cut them completely.
And this was a recent “Associate of the Month.” Which just goes to show you how little Walmart actually values people.
The greed of Walmart is reprehensible. And while I know other corporations treat their employees similarly, many of them don’t have the enormous wealth of Walmart.
Now I know there will be some who say they just love working for Walmart and most of this is untrue, and that’s fine. I’ve known my source for over a decade and verified all of the information myself. And yes, for a very select few they might see Walmart as “great place to work.” But I promise you, for 90% of Walmart associates, their experience working for the company is terrible.
What they’ve essentially done is set up the perfect scam. They’re attempting to hold employees to such low economic levels, the only place they’ll be able to shop at is—Walmart. And much of the shopping they’ll be doing at Walmart will be with funds the government has provided to them, because of how poor they’ve become by working at Walmart.
Walmart is the poster child for the greedy, morally bankrupt corporation, and their recent actions prove that they’re proud of that fact.
A single Walmart's low wages could cost taxpayers $900,000 Per YEAR http://huff.to/18Dav24
That Cheap Stuff You Just Bought At Walmart? Turns Out It Cost $6,000 More Than You Thought.
According to a Congressional study, $6,000 is the average amount taxpayers are being dinged per employee. Walmart's wages and benefits are so low, it forces workers to go on Medicaid and receive housing assistance, childcare subsidies, food stamps, and more. Yes, it's totally insane, but it's true.
Blending classical literature with the computer technology of subterranean imaging, scientists have made an astonishing discovery – namely, there is a tenth level of Hell!
In the 14th century, Dante, a renown Italian poet, detailed a horrendous descent through nine layers of eternal damnation that he had charted, with the bottom floor reserved for the most wretched of sinners. Yet, apparently in recognition of today's realities, Satan has had to add a new basement to his punishing Inferno – a special level of Hell to accommodate the top executives and profiteers of Walmart.
Their sins are many and well-documented: Paying poverty wages, using child labor, making products in global sweatshops, cheating US workers, bribing public officials, bankrupting local competitors, producing shoddy products, etc. In recent weeks, though, the massive chain's bosses earned their assignment to Beelzebub's basement by their abominable performance in Bangladesh.
First came their deliberate choice to profit from their suppliers' abuses of powerless garment workers paid $37 a month. Second was their intentional turning of a blind eye to the blatantly unsafe factories they use, including the hellhole that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 workers. Third was their diabolically-shameful denial of responsibility, claiming that the dead workers were not making clothes for Walmart on the day of the collapse.
This is Jim Hightower saying… And now, they have fiendishly refused to join nearly 40 other global retail giants in an agreement to help finance such minimal safety upgrades as putting fire escapes on Bangladesh's factories and allowing rigorous, independent inspections. Walmart executives explained that non-binding, unenforceable, self-regulation would be best for all concerned. And you could hear Old Lucifer cackling as he prepared their rooms in his new, tenth level of Hell.
5 New Reasons Not to Buy Matzah at Walmart
Before you succumb to those everyday low prices, here are some things you should know.
Photo Credit: Frying Pan News
If you’re like me, right now you may be scrambling to stock up on all of your Passover essentials. So what if I told you that you could get 12 boxes of matzah – more than enough to cover the eight days and nights of breadless revelry – for just over $40 bucks?
Ah, but there’s a catch: You’ll have to buy this miracle matzah pak at Walmart. Moral dilemma? You bet.
Last year we provided a short list of reasons you might want to think twice about a Walmart matzah binge. We wish we could report that Walmart had cleaned up its act since then, but alas, the world’s largest retailer has racked up a series of alleged corporate crimes and indiscretions that would make a pharaoh blush.
So before you succumb to those everyday low prices, here are five more reasons not to buy matzah at Walmart:
1) Hunger Strike: Remember those passages in the haggadah about the bread of affliction? When workers stop eating to protest conditions, you know things are really bad. That’s what happened in Cambodia earlier this month, when workers who sew clothes sold at Walmart staged a hunger strike because they weren’t being paid the extremely meager wages they were owed.
2) Forced Labor: If this doesn’t hit close to home, you really need to brush up on your Passover narrative. Last summer Walmart suspended one of its seafood suppliers after an investigation discovered that workers were being forced to work up to 24 hours consecutively and had been locked in the plant. The same team found workplace violations at a dozen other Walmart food suppliers. Many of the aggrieved employees were foreign workers – strangers in a strange land indeed.
3) Fatal Factory Fire: Last November, in a tragedy eerily reminiscent of the Shirtwaist Triangle Factory Fire of 1911, 112 workers died in a blaze at an Indonesian factory that supplied clothes to Walmart. The New York Times discovered soon after that Walmart had played a leading role in blocking efforts to address safety concerns at Bangladeshi factories.
4) Quashing Freedom of Speech: As you prepare your Passover meditation on the meaning of freedom, keep in mind that among the most basic of liberties is the right to speak freely. This is not a right enjoyed by Walmart employees, which is why last December Walmart workers in 10 countries participated in a global protest against the company’s use of intimidation and firings to silence disgruntled workers.
5) Bribery Scandal: Last April, the New York Times broke the story that Walmart had allegedly covered up a bribery scandal in Mexico. The corporation’s Mexican subsidiary reportedly gave tens of millions of dollars to government officials to grease the wheels for store development there, and Walmart’s head honchos back home in Bentonville turned a blind eye. What’s the connection to Passover? We’re not sure, but we know your bubbi would not approve.
Costco Proves Republicans Wrong By Paying a Living Wage and Watching Profits Soar
Costco is proving Republicans and the Wal-Mart wrong by paying workers a living wage while also earning record profits.
While Wal-Mart experienced February sales that were considered, “total disaster,” Costco’s earnings for the second quarter of the year climbed 39%. The New York Times reported, “Costco Wholesale’s net income for its second quarter climbed 39 percent as it pulled in more money from membership fees, sales improved and it recorded a large tax benefit.”
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek openly supports raising the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour, “At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business. We pay a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states where we do business, and we are still able to keep our overhead costs low. An important reason for the success of Costco’s business model is the attraction and retention of great employees. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”
Costco is proof that the Republican idea that labor must be stomped on in order for our economy to prosper is wrong. It is possible for companies to earn record profits while respecting their workers and paying them a living wage. Wal-Mart embodies the conservative ideology that the country functions best when wealth is concentrated at the top. To match the Walton family’s fortune, an average Wal-Mart employee would have to work for the company for 7 million years. This model is what Republicans are advocating for the entire country, and it is failing to lead to prosperity.
Given Costco’s record profits, Wal-Mart’s blaming of the payroll tax and gas prices for their decline in sales doesn’t wash. Costco’s customers also faced higher gas prices and payroll taxes, but their sales were up six percent during the first quarter of the year.
Despite what both Wal-Mart and Republicans have been saying, companies can prosper and still have a conscience. When companies pay a living wage, workers benefit. When workers make more money, they spend more money. When people spend more money, the economy is stronger. When the economy is stronger, the nation as a whole benefits.
The economic virtuous circle that Republicans and their corporate benefactors thought they killed is alive, well, and living at Costco.
Here's something to think about.
QuikTrip, Trader Joe’s, and Costco operate on a different model, says Ton. "They start with the mentality of seeing employees as assets to be maximized," she says. As a result, their stores boast better operational efficiency and customer service, and those result in better sales.
Walmart, on the other hand, treats their employees like crap, and still makes tons of money. But everyone hates Walmart and loves Trader Joe's and Costco.
Companies like Trader Joe's and Costco are proving that the decision to offer low wages is a choice, not an economic necessity.
Sam's kids grew up privileged and mean. That is what happened
You, as a tax payer, subside Wal-mart because 80% of their employees are on some federal/state subsistance.
A police survey says panhandlers outside Wal-Mart in Coos Bay can make $300 a day. Inside, it takes a clerk a week to make that much.
Given the content of my site, and the wingnutty pious predilections of the American public and government, and the enmity and known censorious habits of Christians and creationists, how long do you think this place would stay up if SOPA/PIPA went into effect?
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare." ~ Japanese Proverb
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
~ Carl W. Buechner
See my other blog:
"Love your own, leave others alone,"
it's a good principle for kids to learn.
"If dogs don't go to heaven, when I die I want to go wherever they went."
-- Attributed to Will Rogers
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
10 REASONS TO ADOPT AN ADULT DOG
1. Have you really thought about what getting a puppy means? If not, CLICK HERE!
2. Puppies are not housebroken! Most people work during the day and are gone for 8 hours or more at a time. Puppies need to go out on a regular schedule so they have frequent opportunities to eliminate where you want them to. Puppies can't wait for the boss to finish his meeting or the kids to come home from school. Adult dogs can "hold it" for longer periods and, often, a Rescue will have the dog housebroken before it is adopted.
3. Intact Underwear. Puppies chew! You can count on at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered to the "rag bag" before a puppy cuts all its teeth. Shoes? yes, puppies like to chew them also. Expect holes in your carpet (along with urine stains), backs and pages missing from books, stuffing exposed in couches, and at least one dead remote control. No matter how well you watch them, it will happen. This is a puppy's job! An adult dog can usually have the run of the house without destroying it.
4. A Good Night's Sleep. A puppy can be very demanding at 2am and 4am and 6am. Puppies naturally miss their littermates and a stuffed animal is not a substitute for puppy pile with littermates in the dark of night. Prefer peace and quiet, an adult rescue dog usually sleeps through the night?
5. Finish the Newspaper. With a puppy loose in the house, you will NOT be able to relax when you get home from work. Do you think kids ever really feed the dog? Clean up the messes? Walk in the pouring rain every hour to get the dog housetrained? If so, you probably have a severe case of denial. An adult dog will generally sit calmly beside you as your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers as you pet it.
6. Easier Vet Trips. Puppies need a series of puppy shots and fecals, then a rabies shot, then surgery to spay/neuter them, and generally a trip or two to the emergency vet after eating something dangerous. (All of this usually adds up to substantially more than you paid for the dog!) When adopting an adult dog, the adoption fee should get you a dog with current vaccinations, this is altered, heartworm negative and on a preventative, at the minimum.
7. What You See Is What You Get. How big will the dog get? What will its temperament be? Is it easily trained? What will its personality be like as an adult? Will it be hyperactive? Adult dogs are, to steal a term from Internet lingo, WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get.) All of your questions are easily answered, because the dog is already an adult. You can pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sassy or sweet. Further, the rescuer and/or foster homes can help guide you in choosing just the right match for you. (Rescues are FULL of puppies who became the wrong match as they got older!)
8. Unscarred Children (and Adults). If a puppy does not teeth on your possesions, it will teeth on you and your children. Rescuers often get calls from panicked parents sure their dog is about to seriously injure their children. It usually turns out the puppy is just doing what puppies do, i.e., mouth or nip. Parents, too emotional to see the difference, just want to get rid of the dog. A growing puppy is going to put anything and everything in their mouth. It must be taught bite inhibition. As the puppy grows, the puppy's jaws become stronger and its teeth are replaced by its adult teeth. The mouthing and nipping it did as a puppy now can have serious consequences. Far better to get an adult dog that has "been there, done that, moved on."
9. Matchmaker Make Me A Match. Puppy love is emotionally appealing. They are so cute! But, in reality, cute is not a sufficient reason to get a pet, a pet that will probably live 15+ years. It may be cute, but cute can grow up to be hyperactive. It may be not want to share your home with anyone else, including your spouse, children, or other animals. It may want to be a couch potato, when the main reason you got the dog was to run with you every day. Pet/owner mis-matches are the MAIN REASONS owners "give-up" their pets. 60% of the animals in shelters nationwide are there for this reason. Good rescuers extensively evaluate of dogs and applicants to insure both will be happy with one another until death do them part.
10. Instant Companion. With an adult dog, you have a dog that can go everywhere and do anything with you NOW. You don't have to wait until the puppy grows up and hope it will like to do what you to do with it. With an adult rescue, you select the dog most compatible with you. You can find one that travels well, loves to play with your friends' dogs, has excellent house manners, etc. You can come home after a long day's work and spend your time on a relaxing walk, ride, or swim with your new best friend (rather than cleaning up after a small puppy.)
11. Bond - Rescue Dog Bond. Dogs that have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are likely to bond very closely to their new owner. Yes, dogs that have lost families through death, divorce or lifestyle change can go through a mourning process; however, once they become attached to their new family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again! Those dogs that are just learning about the good life and good people seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of a chain, or worse, is about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescues make exceptional, extremely loyal companions.
Sadly, some people seem to think dogs that end up in rescue are genetically or behaviorally inferior. In reality, rescues get dogs that have outlived their novelty with impulsive owners who really did not have the time, energy or willingness to shoulder either the responsibility or expense required to be a good dog owner.
Choosing an adult rescue over a puppy does not guarantee you will never have any problems with a new pet, it just increases the probability that you won't. Of course, with any new pet, there is an adjustment period while the dog learns what you expect of it. The difference is that an adult dog, specially chosen for various traits compatible with you and your home situation, are not having to learn as much as a growing puppy, so they usually fit into their new families very quickly. For most of us, an adult dog is much more suited to our needs than a puppy.
Cute as they are, puppies are a tremendous responsibility and, with the busy schedules that most of us have, impossible to housebreak completely, socialize well, and train adequately. If you are not able or willing to do what is necessary to raise a puppy correctly, you may end up wanting to surrender a dog yourself!
Adopting an adult rescue can be the best decision, and addition to your family, that you ever make. Rescue a dog and get a devoted friend for life! Go ahead, do a "GOOD DEED," adopt a dog in need of a home. Give a dog a chance it otherwise would not have. But, beyond doing a "good deed", do yourself a favor and adopt an adult dog.
What did Elizabethans eat at the Globe theatre?
"The food seems principally to have been apples [there are several references to 'pippins' being used as ammunition], and nuts...John Tatham mentions pears [again used as ammunition] in 1641, and Overbury's Character 'A Puny Clarke...eats Ginger bread at a Play-house'. The drink offered was either water or bottle-ale."
---Playgoing in Shakespeare's London, Andrew Gurr (p. 36-7)
[NOTE: this book contains many footnotes citing to original sources. It is interesting to note that most of what we know about theatre food comes from poems, plays, and diaries describing the experience."
"Vendors offered beer, water, oranges, nuts, gingerbread, and apples, all of which were occasionally thrown at the actors. Hazelnuts were the most popular theatre snack, the Elizabethan equivalent of Raisinets."
---The Friendly Shakespeare, Norrie Epstein [Viking:New York] 1992 (p. 45)
[NOTE: this book does not contain footnotes back to original sources. It does contain a long bibliography of works consulted.]
It is interesting to note that 16th century London theatres [such as the Globe] evolved from the tradition of innkeepers offering street entertainers a place to perform:
"Gradually, the innkeepers learned that when the Players came to town business was brisk; entertainment in those days was not easily come by and the arrival of the Players brought everyone out on holiday. The labourers and their families rubbed shoulders with the farmers and the foremen, as they all went to watch the plays. Thus, the innkeepers began to offer the shelter of their inn-yards for the performances and the Players would stand their carts at one end of the inn-yard whilst the local audience stood around to watch, buying their ale and mead and treating it as a festive occasion...Many of these inns had tiers of galleries all round the yard and some of them became for a while almost permanent theatres. Most such inns are long disappeared but slide number 4 gives us a modern view of the Oxford Arms in London which remained standing until a few years back; you can see the present-day St Paul's in the background. It was the inn-yards that later dictated the shape and form of the custom made open-air theatres built in the last quarter of the sixteenth century."
--Elizabethan Theatre/Hilda D. Spear, University of Koeln [Germany]
The University of Reading is considered to be the foremost authority on the original Globe Theatre.
What did the peasants eat in the 16th century?
In sixteenth century Europe many peasants were dispossesed from their agrarian way of life. The quality of their diet plummeted, meat was a scarce commodity. When they ate at all? They were lucky. Food historians tell us they subsisted primarly on bread and rudimentary soups/stews. These were both cheap and easy to prepare. Notes here:
"Dispossesion of the Peasantry.
The upheaval in rural landownership, which in countries such as England was a prerequisite of the agricultural revolution, also contributed to the impoverishment of the peasant diet, especially in the more prosperous regions strategically located with respect to the market. In these areas, nobles, royal officeholders, and bougeois had, by the end of the sixteenth century, grained possession of most of the land--land that at the end of hte Middle Ages had still been in peasant hands...In France and other western European nations, the degree of rapidity of the dispossession of the peasantry were greatest in the regions that were richest, closest to big cities, and most advanced in the use of agricultural technology. In regions were small farms dominated (in the mountains, in vine-growing areas, and in copse or hedgerow country), and in poorer, less populous regions generally, where land was less attractive to noble and bourgeois landlords, peasant ownership held up better."
---Food: A Culinary History, Jean-Louis Flandrin & Massimo Montanari [Columbia University Press:New York] 1999 (p. 352-353)
"Only crumbs from these developments fell, however, to the kitchens of the peasantry. The custom of giving regular rations of meat to workers and apprentices dies out after 1500. The sixteenth century brought a period of relative stability and of agricultural expansion that were paradoxically accompanied by an inexorable decline in the quality of the peasant diet...Meat slowly disappeared from the peasants' diet, returning to their tables once or twice a year for the big holidays, and for the next three centuries a major concern of those governing the island [Sicily] was that of producing bread in sufficient quantity to keep the population from either starving or rebelling."
---Pomp and Sustenance: Twenty-Five Centuries of Sicilian Food, Mary Taylor Simet [Ecco:Hopewell NJ] 1989 (p. 108-9)
Planning a visit to Yosemite, along with the four million other people who spend time in the park each year? Catch it while you can: the Parks Service is...
Poverty has devastating effects on people's long-term physical and mental health, including limited access to healthy food and hospitals and poor air...
A new study has found that gay, lesbian and bisexual teachers are less likely to confront anti-LGBT bullying in the classroom — but why is this? The...
6 Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites
The best remedy for itchy mosquito bites is to prevent them in the first place. Use these tips to help stay bite-free this summer:
- Stay indoors at dusk when mosquitoes are out and about.
- Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved tops, and tuck long pants into your socks.
- Stay away from black and white fabrics, which seem to drive the little bugs wild.
- Turn on an outdoor fan - the wind can help keep the bugs at bay.
- Try oils such as soybean oil, and oil mixtures of essential oils, such as pennyroyal oil and eucalyptus. These are moderately effective if you're not dealing with really thick swarms of mosquitoes.
- In places like Alaska or Minnesota, where mosquitoes can be overwhelming, use insect repellants containing geraniol, a plant-derived compound, or neem oil, from the Indian tree Azadirachta indica.
Scientists are testing a floating robot in the Chilean Andes built to withstand changing environments like the sea on Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
Catch a glimpse of the dazzling star Altair, meteor showers, and the moon getting cozy with Venus.
A conservationist argues that it could happen in our lifetimes, with big environmental, economic, and cultural consequences.
Researchers name fearsome-looking new ant species after mythological Maya Underlords.
Fact of the Day
Candy made from pieces of barrel cactus was outlawed in the U.S. in 1952 to protect the species.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."- Phillip K. Dick
HowStuffWorks: How can I find out what information exists about me online?
"The simplest way to find out what's out there about you is to do searches for your name, e-mail addresses and other identifying information. You can start with a search engine such as Google, but you are likely to get an overwhelming amount of information unconnected to you -- or people who share your name or screenname. A search engine can be useful to see the top hits that your contact information yields, just to check on your online reputation. But searching the data collection sites will likely prove far more fruitful -- and perhaps frightening."
By KATE TAYLOR
The so-called Cadillac tax inserted into the Affordable Care Act will tax expensive health insurance plans like those obtained by powerful unions, and switching to cheaper plans will not be easy.Women Scarce in the Top Posts of Los Angeles
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Only one woman holds elective office in the entire government of Los Angeles, and the overwhelmingly male lineup has become a subject of chagrin and impassioned discussion.In a West Bank Culture of Conflict, Boys Wield the Weapon at Hand
By JODI RUDOREN
For Palestinian young men and boys, throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and settlers is a rite of passage.
A man apparently tried to smuggle his pet turtle on a China Southern Airlines flight by disguising it as a hamburger. Airport screeners noted the legs protruding from the bun. “There’s no turtle in there, just a hamburger,” the man reportedly insisted. “There’s nothing special to see inside.”(South China Morning Post)
The image above is not the pet turtle but rather a real fake turtle burger. Recipe available here.
The government has quite a bit of control over education. This is no secret even in countries like the United States, where educational reforms come down...
The Keystone Pipeline's potential for carbon emissions and climate damage is not compatible with President Obama's promise to protect the environment. He...
Coral reefs are a ‘canary in the coal mine’ for the health of our planet. As land dwellers, we can’t see or feel the effects of climate...
Russia has long been accused of numerous violations of human rights abuses -- Snowden must be careful, if he can, not to become part of Putin's propaganda.
College Humor's faux movie trailer for a live action Daria film, starring Aubrey Plaza. La la la la la. Daria's High School Reunion
On the Foundations of Those Before You
Would You Like to Turn On Sticky Keys?
The Honor System
The boom gate is broken at my local (regional) airport and it is stuck up. They decided that, even though the machine doesn't work, they would tape a box to it asking people to stop and put their tickets in before proceeding through the already open gate.
Hose Pipe Security
The Hole is Patched, Sure...
The Wooden Details Really Class it Up
10 Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago
Originally printed on cigarette stiffening cards used to strengthen cigarette packaging during the late 1880′s, it wasn’t long before these cards were use for advertisements, artwork, trivia, and even how to’s. By the 1910s, Gallaher Ltd of Belfast & London and Ogden’s Branch of the Imperial Tobacco Co printed “How-To” series, with clever hints for both everyday and emergency situations, or what we think of today as life hacks. Mental Floss has gathered ten of them to share with you in their article on the topic.
Navigation is easy, just scroll down the page and take a blast into the past. But first a warning: use common sense when reading these and before you decide to try any of them, because they way we view safety has changed a lot in the past 100 years. So, safety first!
You’ll find the following ten life hacks with an image of the card: how to make a fire extinguisher, how to extract a splinter, how to preserve eggs, how to fell a tree, how to stop a mad dog, how to keep plants watered while away on holiday, how to light a match in the wind, how to make a chair to cross a stream, how to rescue someone from electric shock, and how to make a water filter.
Of all ten, the ones I find the most relevant today are lighting a match in the wind and creating a water filter. Both sound like great camping/wilderness/post-apocalyptic skills to have.
Well, what are you waiting for go check out these antique life hacks!
It only takes one person to change your life - YOU!
Posted: 04 Aug 2013 11:45 AM PDT
Researchers have deciphered how oxytocin, acting as a neurohormone in the brain, not only reduces background noise, but more importantly, increases the strength of desired signals. These findings may be relevant to autism, which affects one in 88 children in the United States.
Posted: 04 Aug 2013 11:44 AM PDT
Using direct human brain recordings, scientists have identified a new type of cell in the brain that helps people to keep track of their relative location while navigating an unfamiliar environment.
Posted: 04 Aug 2013 05:11 AM PDT
A person playing a first-person shooter video game like Halo or Unreal Tournament must make decisions quickly. That fast-paced decision-making, it turns out, boosts the player's visual skills but comes at a cost, according to new research: reducing the person's ability to inhibit impulsive behavior. This reduction in what is called "proactive executive control" appears to be yet another way that violent video games can increase aggressive behavior.
By Robert Reich
Corporate lobbyists are preparing to present arguments when Congress returns about why corporate taxes should be lowered. (The President has already indicated a willingness to lower them.) But they're lies. You need to know them so you can spread the truth.
(1) U.S. corporate tax rates are higher than the tax rates of other big economies. Wrong. After deductions and tax credits, the average corporate tax rate in the U.S. is lower. According to the Congressional Research Service ("International Corporate Tax Rate Comparisons and Policy Implications, 2011") the United States has an effective corporate tax rate of 27.1%, compared to an average of 27.7% in the other large economies of the world.
(2) U.S. corporations need lower taxes in order to make investments in new jobs. Wrong again. Big corporations are sitting on almost $2 trillion of cash they don't know what to do with. Rather than investing in expansion, they're buying back their own stocks or raising dividends. They have no economic incentive to expand unless or until consumers want to buy more, but consumer spending is pinched because the middle class keeps shrinking and the median wage, adjusted for inflation, keeps dropping.
(2) U.S. corporations need a tax break in order to be globally competitive. Baloney. Most big U.S. corporations are not really American companies at all. They've been creating more jobs abroad than in the U.S. A growing percent of their customers are outside the U.S. Their investors are global. They do their R&D all over the world. And they park their profits wherever taxes are lowest. The "competitiveness" of American companies is a meaningless term.
Supercut Video of Dogs Who Are High After Visiting the Vet
CollegeHumor has created a supercut video of dogs who are super high after visiting the veterinarian and have trouble standing, walking, or chasing balls.
Kids Urge Teens To Take Babysitter Training Courses From the American Red Cross
Advertising agency BBDO Atlanta has made a clever babysitter training PSA for American Red Cross to create awareness for their Babysitting Basics online course and their Babysitter’s Training classroom course. The training course will help teach babysitters how to have fun with kids, while also keeping them safe and following the rules.
Do you know how to calm a crying baby? Or how to handle a conflict between two children? How about what to do if a child has a tummy ache?
video via American Red Cross
The Chesapeake Republican is facing pressure from a new crop of small-government conservatives on top of habitual efforts from House liberals. He calls it a "pincer movement" that could harm U.S. security.
Traitors: The Walker spy case
ACCOMAC — An Accomack County woman will spend five years in prison for trading her 13-year-old niece's sex to a drug dealer in exchange for cocaine. FULL ARTICLE »
Find out if you and your family could get by on a McDonald's paycheck. [READ MORE]
By now, you've likely heard about the debate over genetically-modified foods. Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether they're good or bad, which foods that we eat actually contain GMO ingredients? And, um, what is a GMO ingredient, anyway?
Sometimes it’s valuable to examine a larger issue, environmental irresponsibility, for example, on a (somewhat) smaller scale. Through the history...
BLUE RIBBON FRIED CHICKEN
Blue Ribbon opened a fried chicken joint? Oh yes it did.
Blue Ribbon has long been known for their excellent fried chicken, but they've only just finally, blissfully opened a spot dedicated to delicious crispy birds -- because, while bowling is obviously the best, sometimes you just need to focus on nothing but piling the thighs and wings as high as possible.
Place your order, pick a seat, pick it up, and get down to business. That's more or less all you need to know about the bright, cafeteria-esque space.
Each piece is expertly dusted with just enough spice backstage...
... so that it's ready for the show, aka, being housed by you. It's also served up with a piece of rosemary & sea salt toast, fries, and a slew of specialty honeys infused with the likes of wildflower, chipotle, and mustard. Apply liberally.
New to this spot is the "Beak to Butt", cheap and tasty morsels of necks and backs that will no longer go overlooked, and come covered in hot peppers and their signature hot sauce.
Also new to this location is a series of griddled chicken burgers, which you should load up with bacon, pineapple, or a bunch of different cheeses.
Also, better make it a double.
Leave some room for The Works potato wedges topped with sour cream, cheese, and bacon.
If, for some reason, all you want is beer and their specialty ice cream like carrot habanero or bourbon, chocolate, and hazelnut, hit the iPad station directly next to the kitchen and skip all the chicken lovers in line. Expect them to mock you, rightfully.
Plane Enthusiast Constructs Aeroplane Cockpit Simulator At Home
Aeroplane enthusiast Laurent Aigon lives the high life - inside a Boeing cockpit he built in his son's bedroom. The 40-year-old Frenchman spent five years constructing the detailed simulator at his home in Lacanau, south-west France. The waiter, who always dreamed of being a pilot, did such a good job on the replica that he was invited to lecture at the Institute of Aircraft Maintenance at Bordeaux-Merignac.
What Are The Most Lactose Intolerant Places In The World?
I like milk. I drink it with every meal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whether you can digest milk comfortably after childhood is a genetic fluke. For many people, the ability to produce lactase - the enzyme that allows the body to break down lactase, the sugar in milk - disappears after childhood, when we no longer need to survive on our mother's milk.
Lactase persistence - the gene that allows about a third of adults to drink milk without major digestive pains - tends to break down geographically, as you can see in this infographic from Nature's history of milk tolerance.
is a site full of colorful, animated, powerpoint-like amazing facts. All facts are verified and sourced. Click the 'next' arrow to scroll through various facts or use 'autoslide' in the upper right corner. You can also search by the categories on the bottom of the screen.
Nightvision is a celebration of the brilliance and diversity of architecture found across Europe, capturing some of the greatest European structures in a new and unique way. Composed of thousands of carefully taken photographs, strung together and stabilized in post-production.
The Presurfer, in cooperation with pzzlr.com, brings you a puzzle every Monday. Just to tickle your brain.
A magician takes a deck of cards, and gives it to you, and asks you to shuffle the cards as many times as you want, and asks you to give the cards back face down. The magician takes the cards and counts them out into two piles without looking at any of the cards. He now says 'I've made two piles so that the number of red cards in the first pile is the number of black cards in the second pile.' You turn the cards over, count the reds in pile one, the blacks in pile 2, and see that it’s true.
How did the magician do this trick? You can find the answer here.
The Real People Behind 10 Fashion Houses
You've heard of expensive fashion houses like Gucci, Versace, Prada, Dior and Chanel. We sometimes forget that somewhere down the line, one individual person actually opened up a store and probably never dreamed their clothes would sell for thousands of dollars.
Here are the stories behind some of those one-named designers.
Why People Love Tipping Waiters
As an economic phenomenon, tipping is really weird. As a psychological phenomenon, it's something else entirely. It's a phenomenon academic research has borne out. But why? Why do we love tipping waiters?
Ms Renata Rotterdam Timelapse
The ms Renata delivers containers to different bays at Rotterdam harbor in the Netherlands.
The 10 swankiest, tastiest, booziest bowling alleys in America
Most people associate bowling alleys with greasy food, stiff well drinks, and that jackass friend who thinks Lebowski quotes constitute a conversation. Usually, they're right. Except at these joints, which ditch thawed chicken tenders for steaks, rum & Cokes for craft Manhattans, and nicotine-stained lanes for high-end, nightclubby wonders of modern gaming. And the shoes... Well, they're still stupid. But waaaaaay cleaner.
Mission Bowling Club
There're only six lanes here, making it all the more exclusive... and giving you the excuse to be all, "Yeah, I'll sit this one out," and park at the bar to down cocktails like the Tangerine Sour & Scotchy Green Shirt, and eat hanger steak w/ fried oysters or grilled salmon.
Bowl and Barrel (Dallas)
B&B's a 15-lane, brick-laden, upscale ode to booze, food and bowling that prides itself on serving up steins as heavy as kids' bowling balls -- 35oz-ers of the German stuff -- alongside absinthe-intensive cocktails and high-end sandwiches that represent your only chance of scoring a turkey all night.
XLanes (Los Angeles)
A super popular date spot for Jean Grey & Cyclops if they were real and liked Fruit Ninja, this glowing Little Tokyo testament to living the high life in the gutter features a super-Japanese arcade, 24 lanes, buffalo chicken pizza, 24 beer taps with beers from brewers like Golden Road & Angel City... but not Archangel City, because he's not real.
Bowlmor Lanes (New York)
Were having a high-end restaurant and slick nightclub not enough, Bowlmor Lanes (which sounds like the home of a Sherlock Holmes villain) also includes seven New York-themed bowling rooms w/ lounges, representing the only time you can take a date to Chinatown, Central Park, and beyond while wearing stupid shoes and avoiding panhandlers.
Some bowling alleys have bacon. Some have chicken. This one has bacon and chicken waffles. And bacon sundaes. And craft beer flights. And beer cocktails like the Moonshiner w/ Midnight Moon cranberry moonshine, apricot brandy & Blue Moon. Oh and bowling. Cuz that's the point, right?
North Bowl (Philadelphia)
With its ridiculous shoes and retro lounges, bowling is a natural draw for the hipster crowd, and this Philly mainstay caters beautifully to the retro set, from a menu that features eight variations on tots to the ultra-swank, Rat Pack-style blue bar. There's also an arcade, a four-lane private alley, and probably a dude sitting in the corner complaining about how mainstream bowling is while drinking PBR.
Flatbread Co. at Sacco's Bowl Haven (Boston)
This renovated Boston pinporium makes up for not being named after that trophy from The Leagueby hybridizing a bowling, bar, and pizza concept that includes clay oven-fired pies, a 40-seat alley, 40 beer taps, and a huge craft beer list that'll inspire you to Shiva-blast the pins into splinters.
Lucky Strike (Miami)
Along w/ lobster sliders, the obligatory high-end White Russians, and punch on tap, this 12-lane beauty also features a private lane w/ its own arcade, and a Jeopardy!-style trivia game where you stand at a podium and get hit with questions, to which the answers are probably all Kingpin.
Punch Bowl Social (Denver)
Combining every great old-man game (bowling, shuffleboard, telling dirty jokes to 22yr-old girls) and young-man game (arcade games, karaoke, telling dirty jokes to 72yr-old girls) under one gigantic roof, this enormous man cave rocks gastropub-style food (think buffalo meatloaf & duck pastrami) in addition to craft cocktails from multiple bars, including a rotating selection of punch served up in huge bowls (see, it's not just a clever name).
GUEST OF A GUEST
Perhaps the only place in the world where you can throw 10 frames while catching a live show by Big Boi, Guns N Roses, or Dr. Dog (except maybe at Big Boi's secret bowling den), Brooklyn Bowl also delivers all-Brooklyn beer taps (including heavy-hitting Brooklyn Blast) and everything from apps to legit dinners from NY's beloved Blue Ribbon, including fried chicken, pork ribs, and a "Really Sloppy Joe". Plus, the bowling!
In a Doctor's Office
The Perfect Record: 19-0. Harriet Tubman's tips for leading slaves to freedom.
Why Americans All Believe They Are 'Middle Class.'
How We Got the Village People. (via Metafilter)
Fast Food Workers Gone Wild.
It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This: Inside the Dark Heart of Guantánamo Bay.
6 Reasons You Really Can't Believe Anything You Read Online.
The Story Behind Saving Mr. Banks.
Corporate Bank Structures Visualized. It's a tangled web. (via Metafilter)
Someone’s having a worse day than you.
18 Months Later
Panhandler Pranks Entire Subway Car
Before you watch this, if you don't live in a big city, you should know that subway commuters are used to panhandlers who take advantage of a captive audience to tell a tale of woe and collect donations. It happens all the time. So these people were not expecting what they got in this incident from College Humor.
These are the 33 best pizzas in America
Pizza. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty tasty, but when it's at its best, there are few things better. In the interest of directing you towards more of those transcendent pizza experiences, the entire network of Thrillist editors has put its collective food knowledge together to give you the 33 best in the whole damn country, representing styles from the deepest of deep dish to the thinnest Neapolitan, from square-cut to triangularly sliced. Will you disagree with some? Probably, but that's what makes America great. Along with all the delicious pizza.
Check out the picks below, and keep track of the ones you've had on this handy checklist.
Antico, Atlanta, GAWhat you're getting: The San Gennaro
From the small-batch dough, San Marzano D.O.P. tomatoes, fresh mozzarella sourced from Campania, and Grande Forni ovens (handmade in Naples), it isn't hard to figure out why ATL crowds consistently line up outside the Home Park trattoria before it's even open (when the dough's gone, they're closed). The money move (also the doughy move!) is the San Gennaro, loaded with savory salsiccia, sweet red pepper, bufala, and cipollines.
Via 313, Austin, TXWhat you're getting: "The Detroiter"
Just like the fiscal balance of their native city, Detroit ex-pats Via 313 are always in the red -- sauce that is! The metal pans from which this duo of trailers slings square Detroit-style pies (more on them later) were formerly used to hold parts in auto factories. They're doing their home city proud with meticulously mastered crust is fluffy on the inside and caramelized with a crunchy layer cheese on the bottom and sides, and The Detroiter ups the ante with two types of pepperoni (smoked and natural casing).
Matthew's Pizza, Baltimore, MDWhat you're getting: The Crab Pie
There are plenty of fine ways to top Matthew's doughy, buttery crust, but this is Maryland, and you're getting a crab pie, because what other state are you going to trust to perfect the union of crab and pizza, with a balanced harmony of cheese, crustacean, and spice? That was rhetorical. This pizza could not exist anywhere else.
Galleria Umberto, Boston MAWhat you're getting: Two Slices
Get here before noon. Please. And don't worry about decisions. You don't have a choice: just get two slices of pie (there's only one, and it's Sicilian, and it's fantastic), maybe some arancini if you want to get crazy, and a domestic beer; drop $7; and there you go. Because Umberto is only open until the dough runs out (and it usually does by 2p or earlier, most days), you know you're getting a fresh slice that isn't sitting under a heat lamp, and you know its going to be light, and airy, and on a focaccia-style crust. And you know it will be glorious.
Santarpio's, Boston, MAWhat you're getting: Italian Cheese, Sausage, & Garlic
You've seen it on your way to Logan -- the sign sticks out inviting you to pull off at the last minute, postpone your flight, and head into Eastie for a simple pie that's been around as a pizzeria since the 1930s and is still owned and operated by the Santarpio family. And you should probably do that just to get their thin-crust sausage pie. Now, look, people complain about this place: the crust is tough and dusted with cornmeal, the waiters are surly, menus are just kind of a thing you may or may not get at some point, but all of that fades away once you bite into that pie and realize that the glorious combo of homemade sausage and cheese and sauce and bread is well worth missing any flight to Philly.
Di Fara, Brooklyn, NYWhat you’re getting: Regular Cheese Pie
Meet Domenico DeMarco. He will be making your pizza today. Actually, he will be making everyone’s pizza today -- and there are plenty of everyones. Even if you manage to navigate your way to Midwood, Brooklyn, by the noon opening time, you’re still likely destined for a two-hour wait. At least you can spend part of it watching the man operate the way he has since 1964. He’s got toppings, but there’s really no need to corrupt the six cheeses, San Marzanos, olive oil, basil, and oregano. You can get a slice... sometimes. It’s weird. Play it safe and snag an entire pie to go -- you just stood for two hours, so that burned at least a million calories.
Juliana's, Brooklyn, NYWhat you're getting: Margherita Pizza
First there was Grimaldi’s, and everyone loved it. Then, Patsy Grimaldi sold it to a customer, and everyone still loved it. Then, that new owner moved it next door, and everyone still loved it! Then, Patsy Grimaldi came out of pizza-tirement, opened Juliana’s in the original Grimaldi’s location that still housed the ovens, and everyone still loved Grimaldi’s. Let them. But you should sit down at Juliana’s with nary a wait, order up Patsy's blessedly simple Margherita, and, while you're at it, grab a White Pie with mozz and garlic, and entertain yourself looking at the suckers on the down-the-block Grimaldi’s line outside. Also good to know: Patsy is a boy.
Roberta's, Brooklyn, NYWhat you're getting: The Family Jewels
Roberta’s pizza is so good, it may be responsible for an entire neighborhood. When it opened in 2008, Brooklyn’s Bushwick was nothing more than a series of run-down warehouses. Five years later, it’s a series of run-down warehouses that everyone wants to overpay to live next to! While the menu has expanded, and it now houses a 12-seat tasting-menu spinoff in the back, the still ramshackle joint’s small, cheap (enough), and always-creative pies (including the Jewels, with mozz, Parm, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, basil, and prosciutto bread crumbs) continue to run the show.
EVO, Charleston, SCWhat you're getting: Mushroom & Sweet Onion
An acronym for "Extra Virgin Oven", it's no shock they spend so much time hand pulling... their mozzarella. HEY-O! But for real, they do go that extra mile, and it shows in pies like the pesto-sauced mushroom & sweet onion laden with local 'shrooms and red peppers.
Coalfire, Chicago, ILWhat you're getting: Prosciutto Pizza
Their 800-degree coal ovens (get it?!) produce a distinctly charred crust that, nonetheless, maintains a remarkably satisfying chewiness. Get yourself their prosciutto pizza, in which a generous layer of thin-sliced pork goodness is carefully layered on top after it comes out of the oven, leading to contrasting temperatures but uniform deliciousness.
Lou Malnati's, six locations throughout Chicago, ILWhat you're getting: The Chicago Classic
Deep-dish has a tendency to ignite strong feelings everywhere. New Yorkers will steadfastly insist it "isn't pizza", meanwhile my brother will threaten to disown me for picking Lou's over Giordano's. I like to think a tomato-topped slice with just the right amount (in this case, the right amount is a lot) of cheese and a whole damn layer of sausage can heal all disputes. Oh, also it's on "buttercrust". Just whisper it to yourself. Buttercrust.
Vito and Nick's, Chicago, ILWhat you're getting: Sausage Pizza
Native Chicagoans hold this style -- square cut, thin, slightly crisped crust -- just as (if not more) near to their hearts as the more-celebrated deep dish, and Vito & Nick's has been turning it out flawlessly since 1932. You'll be ordering the sausage and be pleased to find an abundance of fennel-y pork wads tucked under the blanket of melted cheese. Wash it down with a pitcher of Old Style, the only thing they have on tap.
Buddy's Pizza, Detroit MIWhat you're getting: Pepperoni Pizza
As the pioneers of the square cut, caramelized-crusted Detroit style
thanks to the work of a well-meaning human raised by elves, Buddy's achieves its singular flavor with Wisconsin brick cheese. Your pepperoni will be tucked under said cheese to prevent charring. You will taste the wisdom in this decision.
Supino: Detroit, MIWhat you're getting: Red, White & Green
Proving Detroit can also compete in the thin-crust game, Supino's hybrid American/ Neapolitan pies benefit from an Eastern Market location, snagging fresh ingredients to build creations like Red White & Green (calm down, Christmas elves): a spinach and roasted red pepper white 'za, which is given a briny bite with a generous helping of capers and richness from creamy ricotta.
Little Vincent's Pizza, Huntington, NYWhat you're getting: A Slice With Cold Cheese
Cheese: without it, pizza is just sauce-bread. So why not put it on twice? That’s what the Strong-Island accented madmen at Little V’s do, as long you ask for it. So ask for it. The thin slice with a sweet-ish sauce goes into the oven for a re-heat like normal, but when it comes out, a hand dives into a plastic bin of cold mozzarella and splashes a secondary layer on top. Let it sit for a minute so it starts to melt just a bit. Never in pizza history has it been more essential to fold a slice.
Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City, New JerseyWhat you're getting: The Santo
This is the best Neapolitan pizza that you better not call Neapolitan pizza. The crispy edged wood-fired pies at downtown Razza's serve up nothing but seasonally harvested New Jersey-everything, from the locally milled flour to the wild yeast that eats it before you devour fresh mozz, house-made sausage, and shaved onions baked in a secret sauce-blend of heirloom tomatoes.
Pizzeria Picco, Larkspur, CAWhat You're Getting: "The Specialized"
Larkspur is the type of place that you wish you lived, one of those mythical Marin towns filled with redwoods and old timey movie theaters, and attractive old people who are weirdly fit. And Pizzeria Picco is yet another reason to resent them. The more casual side of the crazy popular Picco restaurant, PP (!) crafts Neapolitan thin crust 'zas in a wood burning oven using crazy fresh ingredients and hand-pulling their mozzarella, and just kind of dominating the pizza scene north of SF. It's hard to go wrong in your selections here (the Son of Yeti w/ leeks, thyme, garlic, three types of cheese and hen of the woods mushrooms is divine), but the money move is the Specialized, essentially an upscale version of the classic pepperoni and sausage pie. Oh, and get the Strauss soft serve with olive oil and sea salt to finish the meal. It's like eating magic mixed with joy.
Mozza, Los Angeles, CAWhat you're getting: Burrata & Squash Blossom
When super-chefs Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton joined forces to
defeat that evil Wolfgang Puck! open a pizza joint, everyone in LA was all like, "But pizza in LA suuuuucks!" But then after eating their bubbly, moist-crusted creations and getting a belly full of burrata, everyone was all like, "But pizza in LA suuuuuuucks! EXCEPT PIZZERIA MOZZA." The LA 'za scene may have improved thanks to a litany of imitators, but they remain the tops.
Frank Pepe, New Haven, CTWhat you're getting: The White Clam Pie
Dating back to 1925, FP's credited with pioneering the New Haven style: a Neapolitan replica thin-crust pie cooked in coal-fired ovens and served on baking trays with a charred flour bottom. Once you've braved the wait, order the White Clam Pie, bringing together freshly shucked littlenecks with chopped garlic, grated cheese, oregano, and olive oil. That's right. Most of Pepe's most famous pies come without tomato sauce and with little/no cheese. But it all works. Oh, does it work.
Pig Ate My Pizza, Minneapolis, MNWhat you're getting: The Piggy
From a group of wildly talented Twin Cities chefs who shuttered an insanely successful higher-end operation and got nto the pizza game, this fantastically named joint is as pork-forward as its name suggests, including this decadent creation loaded with pepperoni, bacon, prosciutto, and further fine charcuterie all piled on top of a decadently thick brioche crust.
Pizza Delicious, New Orleans, LAWhat you're getting: The Hot Sopressata
This Incredible Hulk-named Bywater-by-way-of-Long-Island slice shop's responsible for introducing NOLA to New York-style pinch-and-folds, but they only serve up two a day of their 20+ specialty thin crusts, none more crushable than their massive pile-up of sweet marinated peppers, pickled red onion, and hotter-than-the-oven spicy cured sopressata.
Motorino, New York, NYWhat you're getting: The Prosciutto di Parma Pie
Just to be different from most of the cool kids in New York, Motorino started in Brooklyn, then moved to Manhattan. It’s still there, in the East Village, but it also just returned to its Williamsburg roots with a second location. There’s also one in Hong Kong, naturally. No New Yorker would dare call their thin, charred-yet-chewy pies “traditional”, but only the biggest sticks in the sauce wouldn’t call them delicious. Get the prosciutto and you'll see why.
Prince St Pizza, New York, NYWhat you're getting: A Slice
There are a million Ray’s Pizzas in New York. But there is only one Original Rays. Actually, that’s completely untrue; there’re a million of those too. But there was only one actually-original Ray’s. It’s gone, but now Prince St Pizza sits in its location, and it’s maybe the best slice joint in a city that runs on them. The standard slice is everything a pizza-eater looks for: it’s chewy and just doughy enough, with the kind of cheese you have to grab and twist off with some bites, lest it continue stretching forever. And they're not pizza, but don’t sleep on the prosciutto rice balls. Or do; they’re probably quite comfortable.
Pizzaiolo, Oakland, CAWhat you're getting: Gypsy Peppers, Housemade Sausage & Ricotta Salata (Seasonal)
One of the OGs of the Cali/Neapolitan, wood-burning-oven style so popular in NorCal, Oakland's Pizzaiolo, from chef Charlie Hallowell, has been around since 2005 and continues to see people line up everyday for his ever-changing creations. A recent trip saw a gorgeous gypsy pepper, sausage, and ricotta salata pizza, but the menu changes day to day, so the best move is usually just to get the pizza alla Pizzaiolo and let him have his way with you and your taste buds.
Stogie Joe's, Philadelphia, PAWhat you're getting: The Square Pie
Red-sauced bakery pies are as much a South Philly staple as being ejected from a Phillies game, and, just like Phillies fans, Stogie Joe's takes it to the next level, serving their square pies upside-down with their signature spicy-sweet tomato sauce floating above the cheese blanketing a Sicilian-style crust.
Apizza Scholls, Portland, ORWhat you're getting: The Apizza Amore
Apizza has more rules than a YMCA pool -- no call-in orders, no more than three toppings, and if they run out of dough you're outta luck -- but there's a reason people line up around the block for the very chance of getting it: the charred, ciabatta-esque crust is the perfect vessel for ultra-fresh cheese and house-cured meats. Get the Amore and taste the glory of their spicy cured pork shoulder.
Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix, AZWhat you're getting: The Rosa
People travel significant distances to endure equally significant waits to dine at this pizza oasis in the Arizona desert that's spawned a mini-empire in Phoenix. Or maybe they're just making a side-trip because their grandparents live there. Either way, one of the biggest reasons is The Rosa: red onions, pistachios, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a whisper of rosemary. Sounds simple enough, if a little odd, but the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
Conte's, Princeton New JerseyWhat you're getting: Pepperoni & Onion
This is that-pizza-place-you-grew-up-with in its truest form: trophies from local sports leagues, cheap-ass Rolling Rocks, wooden bowls and cafeteria silverware... But the slices bring more than nostalgia -- the pepperoni and onion has a perfect crispness with just the right amount of grease, with those smaller-than-normal little slices of meat curling up around the edges so that each one has delicious glisten housed in what is essentially a tiny meat bowl with slightly crispy edges.
Bob & Timmy's, Providence, Rhode IslandWhat you're getting: Pizza 1
A less-heralded school of pizza cookery is the grilled pizza of Rhode Island, popularized by just-missed-the-cut Al Forno but distinctly nailed by this joint (er, joints -- there're two now), whose thin-yet-flavorful crust serves as the blanket for a bevy of fresh toppings, though all you really need to blow your tongue-mind is the Pizza 1 and its layer of Parm and Romano that gets a little extra funk from crumbles of gorgonzola.
Pastaria, St. Louis, MOWhat you're getting: Brussels Sprouts Pizza
It might sound like STL star chef Gerard Craft's joint is a pick for pasta, but you'd be a fool to sleep on the meticulously prepared, bubbly-crusted pies, like this bechemel-based Brussels sprout number with lemon, mozz, and lardo. Mmm... lardo.
Ragazza, San Francisco, CAWhat you're getting: Amatriciana
Here's how to do Ragazza correctly: go there, put your name in (no reservations, except for parties of seven or more on their patio), walk across the street to fantastical dive bar The Page. Have many drinks and laughs, check your phone to see when your table is ready, come back, order the Amatriciana with pancetta, chillies, pecorino, and oregano. Ask for an extra farm egg on top. Rejoice in the splendor of the Cali-style Neapolitan thin crusts. Finish dinner. Go back to The Page to celebrate.
Serious Pie, Seattle, WAWhat you're getting: Penn Cove Clams, Pancetta Tesa, Chiles
Proprietor Tom Douglas, as you may have gathered from the name, is serious about his pie. As in, hand-shucking clams every morning. Tom perfected SP's slightly sweet, almost pastry-like crust at his bakery around the corner, and it's so good, almost anything would taste amazing on it, but you wanna spend your clams on the 'za topped with diced, fresh-shucked ones from the Puget Sound's premier bivalve purveyor. Seriously (see what we did there?!) this pie can't be missed.
2 Amys, Washington, DCWhat you're getting: Margherita Extra
The quaint Neapolitan crew doesn't mess around when it comes to abiding by the D.O.C (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) rules passed down by the from the Italian government (Mussolini thankfully no longer runs things) to get that formal seal of approval. What does that entail? Well, when making their go-to Margherita in their wood-burning oven, the dough can only contain soft-grain flour, fresh yeast, water, and sea salt and toppings include only Italian plum tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh basil or dried oregano.
A moment of silence…
Film’s Greatest T-Shirts
A visual history of the greatest prop t-shirts — and the occasional tank, polo, and sweatshirt — from film.
5 new restaurants you should know about right now
Because there are only so many meals one person can eat in a day (seven! The answer is seven!), chances are you haven't hit any of these recently opened spots yet -- but now's the time to take down some grub from one of these newbies for brunch, lunch, dunch, or any of the other major meals of the day:
1131 Manhattan Ave; Manhattan Beach; 310.545.2096
The smaller sibling of Hermosa Beach fave Abigaile (get it? DO YOU?) is a homey-feeling Asian-meets-European gastrobistro with goodness like barbeque pork short ribs w/ honey hoisin sauce, and beef noodle soup w/ braised brisket and what Rivers Cuomo used to go on before he got married (Chinese dates).
The whole menu's right here
At Grand Central Market: 324 S Hill; Downtown
This lunchtime Texas BBQ take-out-window's got cred thanks to an Austin-import owner who's tossing out smoked chicken, pulled pork, and brisket. Pro tip, though: it all pales in comparison to the top-top-level ribs, so order extra and fret not about leaving the rest behind.
Get to know them on their FB
3280 Helms Ave; Culver City; 310.876.0286
The Rustic Canyon guys' new Italian eatery's doing pasta the old-old-old-old-old-school way: with absolutely no machines, everything hand-cut, and ravioli that's literally made to order. They've also got crazy-good porchetta and sea bream crudo. Here's the thing, though: cell phones/ photos are totally forbidden, so no one will ever know you actually ate here.
Their website's at BucatoLA.com
395 Santa Monica Pl; Santa Monica; 866.593.9667
The guys behind this patio'd steak-and-seafoodery moved to LA from Canada presumably to school our asses with their Canuck takes on American classics, like this AAA New York strip and lobster grinders loaded up with avocado.
It's all right here
1510 N Stanley; Hollywood; 323.876.1400
This new-"global-local" spot in an old Moroccan space (Dar Magrheb) is a lush, loungey place that makes you feel like you're on a movie set, which makes sense 'cause one of the partners is the dude who directed Independence Day. Also on staff: the award-winning former Palate chef, who's tossing out goodness like lamb merguez meatballs w/ hummus and orange marmalade, and the drink masters from Picca, who've got rum-based punches with recipes dating back to the 1600s.
The website's right here
The greatest beer hall ever, and it's in the Tenderloin
The first US version of the Copenhagen original, Mikkeller Bar's an 80-seat Dutch beer hall set in a 106yr-old brick building in the Tenderloin and collaborated on by the guy behind R. Kelly's favorite East Bay bar (The Trappist).
Along with walls painted by the same dude who does their beer labels and featuring awesome, sometimes naked (!) cartoon people (slanty face), they also imported these ubiquitous street lights from Denmark.
With 42 beers on tap (including four exclusive-to-this-location Mikkellers), rather than have individual handles, they have these nifty engraved pendants to help keep track of what's what.
All of the beers are controlled by this super-crazy, super-rare (there are only five like it in the entire world) contraption amazingly dubbed the Flux Capacitor. It keeps every single beer at a specialized level of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and, we're assuming, stolen Nigerian plutonium/clock tower lightning bolts.
And kegs are stored in two different walk-in fridges so you can enjoy them at three different temperatures. Wait, what?
The chef is from awesome DC cocktail bar Churchkey, and his meat-centric menu is, naturally, dedicated to "things that go well with beer", proving that our Vision Board totally worked.
How meat-centric, you ask? THIS meat-centric. Their sausage platter features homemade bierwurst and thick-cut grilled bacon, enough of which'll make you believe you can fly/touch the sky.
Wyatt Cafeteria’s Baked Eggplant (Aubergine) Recipe
- 1lbeggplants, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2lbdried breadcrumbs(I use as did my mother-in-law a herbed stuffing mix)
- 1/2cup cannedevaporated milk
- 1/4cupwhole milk
- 1/4cupbutter, melted
- 1/4cup finely choppedonions
- 1/4cup finely choppedgreen peppers
- 1/4cup finely choppedcelery
- 2eggs, slightly beaten
- 1tablespoonchopped pimiento
- 1/4teaspoondried sage
- 1 1/2cupscheddar cheese, grated
- Soak the eggplant cubes in salt water in refrigerator overnight or a minimum of six hours.
- Drain and place in medium saucepan.
- Cover with water and simmer until tender.
- Soak the bread crumbs in milk.
- Saute the onions, green peppers, and celery in melted butter for about 15 minutes or until tender.
- Combine the cooked eggplant, bread crumbs and sauteed vegetables.
- Add the eggs, pimiento, and seasonings; mix thoroughly.
- Place the mixture into a 2 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove cover, top with grated cheese and return to oven last 5 minutes of cooking.
- The preparation time includes the soaking time for the eggplant.
In general, 46 percent of people have had pink eye. But among those who have eaten in a diner at 4 a.m., 59 percent have had pink eye.
Based on a survey of 171 people who have eaten in a diner at 4 a.m. and 365 people total.
11 Things You NEED To Do Before Summer Vacation Ends
Somehow it’s already August. So this video will probably inspire you to get everything you can out of the rest of summer vacation.
Soon it’s going to be fall…
And after that, winter.
So get out there and go crazy while the weather and your free time still let you! Summer’s going fast…
Some people would pay the $400.
Measurement not our strong suit.
This fob watch, retrieved from the wreck of the Titanic, confirms the approximate time that the ship went down, 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912.
On June 7, 1692, an earthquake destroyed Port Royal, Jamaica. Centuries later, during a 1960 excavation in Kingston Bay, archaeologist Edwin Link discovered a pocket watch whose hands were frozen at 11:43 a.m., pinpointing the onset of the quake and confirming eyewitness accounts made 268 years earlier.
On Aug. 12, 1949, time slowed briefly in London: Fifty starlings settled on Big Ben’s minute hand and delayed the striking of the hour by four and a half minutes.
“History is philosophy teaching by examples.” — Thucydides
There comes to me a question, your ear toward me bow,
Pray listen to my ditty and do not start a row –
I’ve lots of words peculiar, enough to fill a mow —
And thoughts crowd in upon me, like piglets by a sow.
So lay aside your weapons, let no one draw the bow,
And sit yourselves around me, all neatly in a row,
On clover leaves and timothy, all ready for to mow –
Alas, we must be moving, the farmer wants to sow.
– “Cryptox,” in the National Puzzlers’ League publication Enigma, May 1945
Latest Terrorist Chatter Reminiscent of 9/11The communications chatter among terrorists that prompted the closing of 22 U.S. embassies and consulates Sunday was "reminiscent' of the level prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Sen. Saxby Chambliss said. Read More
Helaine Olen, AlterNet
A train wreck for you is a gravy train for financial hustlers and their media mouthpieces. READ MORE»
Paul Buchheit, UsAgainstGreed.org
A little analysis reveals that privatization doesn't seem to work in any of the areas vital to the American public. READ MORE»
Peter Van Buren, Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com
The Manning trial began on 9/11—that's when the U.S. began to change. READ MORE»
By Alex Kane, AlterNet
Activists battle the military over its refusal to release the names of trainees at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.READ MORE»
By Katherine Paul, Zack Kaldveer, AlterNet
Polls show it will take a lot more than new public relations tricks to convince consumers. READ MORE»
By Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon
That's the question posed this week by a judgmental New York Times Op-Ed. We set out to answer it. READ MORE»
By Beverly Bandler, Consortium News
Republicans and their Tea Party allies are plotting one more frenzied assault on the Affordable Care Act by disrupting congressional town hall meetings and possibly holding the full-faith-and-credit of the United States hostage. READ MORE»
By Bruce Vail, AlterNet
Nevada is the 11th state to enact password protection legislation designed to ensure online privacy for workers. READ MORE»
By Icess Fernandez Rojas, The Guardian
Writing or saying someone's name correctly is a matter of respect. Over the years I've been Jessica, Alison, even She-Ra. READ MORE»
By Richard D. Kahlenberg, Washington Monthly
How Union City, NJ schools achieved huge gains. Hint: It wasn't via corporate school reform. READ MORE»
By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt blog
A city overcomes obstacles to protect citizens' money and to offer benefits big banks can't match. READ MORE»
Chocolate Bacon Zucchini Bread
National Zucchini Day is on August 8th. For those of you with friends, family and co-workers who garden, this makes perfect sense. Home gardeners everywhere are frantically trying to find homes for their bumper crops of zucchini, lest it all go to waste. And coming up with creative uses for all of it can be tricky!
This explains why zucchini bread is such a popular summer dessert. We’ve improved a standard zucchini bread recipe by adding chocolate, frosting, and of course–BACON! Not only is the bacon in the batter, it’s in the topping, too. This recipe will produce a rich cake that combined with the frosting tastes very much like a decadent dessert.
For those of you with a LOT of zucchini, this recipe can be doubled. Extra loaves can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then in double foil, and frozen for up to 6 months.
Makes 2 loaves.
1.5 lbs. thick-cut bacon (I used Smokey’s Hickory bacon)
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups grated zucchini squash
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Grease two 9” x 5” loaf pans or line with parchment paper. Wash zucchini and then grate it. Place in a colander and drain for an hour. Or, wring zucchini out using your hands, removing the excess liquid.
2. Cook the bacon. Lay strips of bacon on several rimmed baking sheets. Place in oven and set temp to 400 F. Bake until bacon is done, about 20 min. Place cooked strips on paper towels and allow to cool. Reduce oven temp to 350 F.
3. Microwave butter for 10-15 seconds or until soft. In a large bowl, add melted butter and cocoa powder. Stir until mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. If mixture is too thick, add some of the vegetable oil and stir until smooth.
4. Add the remaining oil, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Add the eggs and stir again. Then add the zucchini, stirring until incorporated.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to the wet mixture and stir gently until incorporated, being careful not to over mix the batter. Add ½ of the cooked, chopped bacon and stir one last time.
6. Pour mixture into the loaf pans, dividing equally. Bake at 350 F. for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the bread comes out clean. Allow to cool.
7. In a mixer with the flat beater attachment, beat 2 sticks of softened butter. Add the powdered sugar in batches, mixing until creamy. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Frost the cooled zucchini loaves generously, and then top with the remaining chopped bacon. Serve and enjoy!
Researchers say Tor-targeted malware phoned home to NSA
- Other agencies gripe that NSA, FBI shut them out of data sharing
- The sneaky switch that set the stage for the NSA’s call records program
- Seven telcos named as providing fiber optic cable access to UK spies
- Concerns over NSA prompt Wikimedia to speed up using HTTPS by default
- NSA’s Internet taps can find systems to hack, track VPNs and Word docs
Malware planted on the servers of Freedom Hosting—the "hidden service" hosting provider on the Tor anonymized network brought down late last week—may have de-anonymized visitors to the sites running on that service. This issue could send identifying information about site visitors to an Internet Protocol address that was hard-coded into the script the malware injected into browsers. And it appears the IP address in question belongs to the National Security Agency (NSA).
The exploit attacked a vulnerability in the Windows version of the Firefox Extended Support Release 17 browser—the one used previously in the Tor Project's Tor Browser Bundle (TBB). That vulnerability had been patched by Mozilla in June, and the updated browser is now part of TBB. But the TBB configuration of Firefox doesn't include automatic security updates, so users of the bundle would not have been protected if they had not recently upgraded.
Initial investigations traced the address to defense contractor SAIC, which provides a wide range of information technology and C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) support to the Department of Defense. The geolocation of the IP address corresponds to an SAIC facility in Arlington, Virginia.
Further analysis using a DNS record tool from Robtex found that the address was actually part of several blocks of IP addresses allocated by SAIC to the NSA. This immediately spooked the researchers.
"One researcher contacted us and said, 'Here's the Robotex info. Forget that you heard it from me,'" said a member of Baneki who requested he not be identified.
The use of a hard-coded IP address traceable back to the NSA is either a strange and epic screw-up on the part of someone associated with the agency (possibly a contractor at SAIC) or an intentional calling card as some analyzing the attack have suggested. One poster on Cryptocloud's discussion board wrote, "It's psyops—a fear campaign... They want to scare folks off Tor, scare folks off all privacy services."
NSA Blowback: German Minister Floats US Company Ban
German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has raised the possibility of punishing American companies who violate future European privacy rules.
German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger on Monday called for new EU rules on data protection and a ban on American companies that violate them.
With the NSA spying scandal continuing to make headlines in Europe, the German Justice Minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, has raised the possibility of new, tangible measures to punish corporations that participate in American spying activities. In an interview with Die Welt, the liberal Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger called for the creation of EU-wide rules to regulate the protection of information, and said that, once those rules are in place, "United States companies that don't abide by these standards should be denied doing business in the European market."
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said that a package of EU measures is required in order to fight "the widespread spying of foreign spy services" and that German data protection laws should be a yardstick for the rest of the European Union -- German privacy laws are considerably tighter than those of the United States and much of Europe.
German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich also raised corporate accountability in July, when he suggested requiring European firms to report any data they hand over to foreign countries. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who is running for reelection in September as part of the pro-business Free Democratic Party, did not further specify which kinds of penalties she would like American companies to face, though it seems unlikely that Europe would completely ban companies like Google, which dominate the online search market, or Facebook from doing business. Both of those companies were implicated in the documents leaked by former intelligence worker Edward Snowden.
It is the latest development in a German election season that has come to be dominated by online privacy issues. Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced widespread criticism from the opposition for her handling of the NSA scandal and Peer Steinbrück, the Chancellor candidate of the opposition SPD party, recently told German television channel ZDF that Merkel should demand written assurances from the Americans they will respect German laws and interests and not engage in industrial espionage.
In another interview with Die Welt, former German High Court Justice Hans-Jürgen Papier defended the current government in its handling of the privacy debate. The state has a "basic responsibility to protect its citizens from the attacks of foreign powers," he said, but it "can only be responsible for doing things that it has the legal power, and is able, to do." It is increasingly easy, he said, for countries to impinge on the freedoms of the citizens of other countries, and those who are spied on have little recourse to defend themselves. In response, Papier called for a new global agreement on data protection.
In recent weeks, the German foreign intelligence service (BND) has also come under attack for its own close cooperation with the NSA. In the latest of several SPIEGEL revelations about the agency, the BND was discovered to have provided the Americans with the metadata for millions of phone conversations, emails and text messages, and to have given them copies of two German digital spy systems named Mira4 and Veras. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger also addressed this news in her interview, saying "the BND must finally put all the facts on the table."
"Doctor, Doctor, You've got to help me - I just can't stop my hands shaking!"
"Do you drink a lot?"
"Not really - I spill most of it!"
The more you get, the wealthier you become. The more you give the richer your life becomes.
See how to spot problems early and learn ways to protect your eyes as you get older.
View Slideshow ›
Toasted almonds enhance the nutty flavor of wild rice in this simple yet luxurious side dish.
With this handy fitness tool, you can log your nutrients, track your activity, and get personalized progress reports.
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White Gorditas Recipe
The gorditas - little plump ones - of Veracruz are utterly pre-Hispanic, despite the fact that they are deep fried, and as typical of the state as it comes. The negras or black ones, which incorporate the local black beans and perhaps some Veracruzano jalapeño or chipotle chillies, are the most popular but the blanca or white/blond version is just as time-honoured.
Although gorditas are a very typical Mexican antojito or street snack and there are countless variations to be found throughout the country, the ones from Veracruz are in a class of their own. A standard little plump one lives up to its name in that it is a masa cake, somewhat thicker than a tortilla, which is more often than not fried on a griddle; it puffs up as it cooks, creating a pocket which can be stuffed. In Veracruz on the other hand, the dough is rolled out quite thinly and then deep fried – and it is this contact with hot oil which makes it balloon up into its characteristic bellied shape. In other parts of the country, it would be known as a gordita inflada or an inflated gordita, but in Veracruz it is just a little plump one.
Gorditas Veracruzanas are eaten mostly in the morning and they are a breakfast to die for, particularly when accompanied by fried plantains, a spicy salsa and a fried egg or two, or a sprinkling of salty tangy cheese and a drizzle of sour cream for instance - not particularly light or healthy but oh so good. They are not difficult to make but need to be thin enough to achieve the required lightness and crispness; a tortilla press is a great asset here, but if you do not have one to hand, the dough can be rolled out with a rolling pin between two sheets of cling film/plastic wrap. A sugar thermometer is also a great help as the gorditas will not balloon adequately if the oil is not hot enough – and if it is too hot, the outside will be crisp and golden before the inside is cooked.
White Gorditas from Veracruz – Gorditas Blancas Veracruzanas
Makes about 10 and serves 4 to 6 as a brunch dish
For the gorditas:-
250 g/9 oz masa harina
15 ml/1 tbsp plain flour
50 g/2 oz green jalapeño chilli, or to taste, deseeded and very coarsely chopped – or use serrano chillies if you want some real heat
10 ml/2 tsp fine sea salt
Warm water as needed
For the salsa verde cruda:-
300 g/11 oz tomatillos, husked and rinsed - use tomatoes if tomatillos are not available
50 g/2 oz onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large mild red chilli, deseeded and chopped
15 g/1/2 oz fresh coriander/cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup soured cream
100 g/4 oz Mexican queso fresco, ricotta salata or feta cheese
15 g/1/2 oz fresh coriander/cilantro, coarsely chopped
Place the masa harina, flour, green chillies and salt in a food processor and blitz until the chillies are evenly distributed. With the motor running, start adding water, a quarter of a cup at a time, until the masa comes together and is smooth and pliable. If it is too dry, the gorditas will crack as they cook, letting the oil in; if the mixture is at all sloppy, it will be difficult to handle. You will need approximately two and a half cups of water but it can vary.
Knead the dough briefly and divide into pieces about the size of a large walnut (although feel free to make them larger if you like). Flatten each one out between two sheets of cling film/plastic wrap either in a tortilla press or with a rolling pin, to a thickness of no more than 1.5 mm. The gorditas can be prepared up to this point and set aside, still in the cling film, for several hours.
To make the salsa, chop the tomatillos coarsely. Put them in a food processor with all the other ingredients and whizz up for a few seconds, until broken down but still a bit chunky. The salsa can be made several hours in advance.
About half an hour before you are ready to eat, turn the oven on to its lowest setting and put some plates to warm. Line a large baking tray with a double thickness of kitchen paper and place it in the oven.
Heat 5 cm/2 in of vegetable oil to 185oC/360oF in a deep frying pan, wok or deep fat fryer. Turn the heat down to low. Carefully peel the cling film off two pieces of dough and gently lower them into the hot oil. Cook them undisturbed for about three minutes on each side, until they balloon and are golden all over. Remove them to the tray in the oven, propping them up against each other like a tent – this will help to keep them fat and full of air. Cook the remaining gorditas in the same way. Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil and do not let it rise above 190oC/375oF or it will start to burn.
Place two gorditas on each warm plate and drizzle with soured cream. Sprinkle with cheese and coriander and spoon some salsa over and around.
What's the secret? Yes, you guessed it: Bacon.
Quick and Easy Lunch
Kids plus hot dogs. That's some good math.
Complete Your Meal
This was awesome and so easy to whip up!
Love this quick and delicious and nutritious salad.
I especially like the addition of oats, which makes it more crumbly than cakey.
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Greenwald also discusses Reuters’ report on the Drug Enforcement Agency spying on Americans. READ MORE»
Leslie Salzillo, Daily Kos
Gloves were not changed between anal and vaginal probes, nor were they changed between women. READ MORE»
Robert Reich, RobertReich.org
Corporate lobbyists are readying their arguments for Congress' return from recess. All of them are specious. READ MORE»
By Andrew Breiner, Think Progress
How drilling companies hide the truth about fracking. READ MORE»
By Rod Bastanmehr, AlterNet
A new report reveals that a secretive DEA unit funnels surveillance info from gov't agencies to law enforcement -- and tells them to hide it. READ MORE»
By Katie Vyktoriah, Huffington Post
A mom recounts her nightmare trip to Walmart. READ MORE»
By Rod Bastanmehr, AlterNet
A 19-year-old got sick after eating a pizza allegedly pepper sprayed by a police officer during a traffic stop. READ MORE»
By Dan McCue, Courthouse News
Since the lawsuit was filed, a total of 18 individuals have submitted affidavits, complaining of the same treatment. READ MORE»
By Angi Becker Stevens, Salon
Everyone wants to know how my polyamorous family works. You'd be surprised how normal we really are READ MORE»
By Peter Singer, The Guardian
Sunday's tasting of in vitro meat could herald a future free from needless animal suffering and polluting factory farms. READ MORE»
Using infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, an international team of astronomers has imaged a giant planet around the bright star GJ 504. Several times the mass of Jupiter and ... full story
Patients who are otherwise completely unable to communicate can answer yes or no questions within seconds with the help of a simple system -- consisting of just a laptop and camera -- that measures nothing but the size of their pupils. The tool takes ... > full story
Warming oceans are causing marine species to change breeding times and shift homes with expected substantial consequences for the broader marine landscape, according to a new global study. ... > full story
"Cy" Young, Cleveland's veteran pitcher, has had a long and successful career. Among his greatest individual feats are a game of May 5, 1904, when not one of the hard-hitting Athletics reached first base, and another June 30, 1908, against the Highlanders, when only one man got "on" in nine innings. Prior to 1910 he failed only three times in his many years pitching to turn in a majority of victories. In 1910 he won his 500th game, an unsurpassed record. August 12, 1908, "Cy" Young Day was celebrated in Boston. He was presented with the entire receipts of the game, and more silverware and floral designs than he could carry.
On August 6, 1890, baseball great Cy Young pitched his first professional game, leading the Cleveland Spiders past the Chicago Colts. Over the course of his 22-year career, Young won at least 508 games (511 is the generally accepted number) and averaged more than 23 victories per season. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.
Born Denton True Young in Gilmore, Ohio, on March 29, 1867, Young earned his nickname when he tore off several fence boards with his pitches, leading a bystander to observe that the fence looked like it had been hit by a cyclone. He played for the Cleveland Spiders from 1890 until 1898, spent the next two years with St. Louis, and then signed with the Boston Americans (renamed the Red Sox in 1908) in the American League. Young's final season was 1911, which he split between the Cleveland Naps and the National League's Boston Rustlers. The Cy Young Award, instituted in 1956, is given annually to the best pitcher in each professional league.
between 1900 and 1910.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920
Learn more about the history of baseball in the United States and the Caribbean in American Memory:
- Examine additional memorabilia in the American Memory collection Baseball Cards, 1887-1914. See the special presentation "Tinkers to Evers to Chance!" — a tribute to three of Young's baseball contemporaries.
- Find more pictures and stories of the game. See the special presentation Early Baseball Pictures, 1860s-1920s in the collection By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s.
- Search across the American Memory collections on baseball, or search the Today in History Archive on baseball to learn about legendary baseball players such as Jackie Robinson, Connie Mack, and Satchel Paige.
Let others hunt, or fish, or sail
Afar o'er ocean's foam;
Give me the game that's played among
The sweet green fields of home.
Bases pitch on a level spot,
Beneath a smiling sky,
No sport for pleasure or for health,
With Base Ball then can vie…
"The Base Ball Song",
lyric and melody by W. J. Bullock,
Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1820-1860 & 1870-1885
TUESDAY - AUGUST 6, 2013
TODAY’S FOOD QUOTE
“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)
FOOD HOLIDAYS - Today is:
- National Root Beer Float Day
- World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1-7, 2013)
TODAY IN FOOD HISTORY
On this day in:
1889 The Savoy Hotel opened in London, with Cesar Ritz and Escoffier.
1911 Lucille Ball was born. Two of the funniest food related comedy routines ever done were the chocolate factory and the grape stomping episodes from her TV show.
1928 Andy Warhol was born. American painter of the pop art movement. In the 1960s he made paintings of Campbell's Soup cans, Coca-Cola cans and other American products.
1954 David Grandison Fairchild died. An American botanist and agriculturalist, he was responsible for introducing many useful plants to the U.S. Author of 'The World Was My Garden,' and 'Exploring for Plants'.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sarsaparilla is an extract made from the roots of several tropical vines (genus Smilax) in the Lily family, native to the Americas. The extract was once used as a treatment for rheumatism, boils and mercury poisoning. Sarsaparilla is now used to flavor and mask the taste of medicines. It was and still is used to flavor carbonated beverages (root beer), ice cream, candy, etc.
There was a Dutch proposal to build battleships in 1912, after years of concern over the expansion of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the withdrawal of allied British warships from the China Station. Only four coastal defense ships were planned, but naval experts and some politicians believed that dreadnoughts would provide a stronger defense for the Dutch East Indies. In August 1913, a Royal Commission recommended acquiring nine battleships to protect the colony from attack and help guarantee the country's neutrality in Europe. Five of these would be based in the Dutch East Indies, while the other four would operate out of the Netherlands. The proposal led to a debate over how to best protect the colony, and the question of how to share the cost of the ships was not settled until July 1914. After considering the recommendations, the Dutch Government decided to acquire four battleships, and sought parliamentary approval in August 1914. However, the proposal was withdrawn following the outbreak of theFirst World War that month. A new royal commission into Dutch defense needs held after the war did not recommend that battleships be procured and none were ever ordered. (Full article...)
Did you know...
From Wikipedia's newest content:
- ... that Addleshaw Tower (pictured) in Chester is the first free-standing bell tower to be built for an English cathedral since the 15th century?
- ... that Benjamin Britten wrote out the Latin text for Cantata academica in one of his old German exercise books?
- ... that Argentine actor Luciano Castro worked with Natalia Oreiro in Amanda O, a telenovela distributeddirectly by internet?
- ... that Felley Priory received charters of confirmation from three popes: Alexander III, Celestine III and Gregory IX?
- ... that cellist Toby Saks was one of the first female members of the New York Philharmonic?
- ... that directors who were asked to direct the 1970s film Star Trek: Planet of the Titans included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, but Philip Kaufman took the job?
- ... that the suffragist Hugh Franklin, in protest against police brutality, once attacked Winston Churchill with a whip?
- More than 160 people are killed in flash floods across Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- The World Aquatics Championships conclude with the United States winning the most medals, including six gold medals by Missy Franklin.
- Robert Mugabe (pictured) is re-elected as President of Zimbabwe.
- In rugby union, the Chiefs defeat the Brumbies to win the Super Rugby championship.
- Former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden is granted temporary asylum inRussia.
- Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation upholds the four-year sentence of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for tax fraud.
On this day...
- 1506 – Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars: The Grand Duchy of Lithuania achieved one of the greatest Lithuanian victories against the Tatars in the Battle of Kletsk.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Oriskany, one of the bloodiest battles in the North American theater of the war, was fought about six miles (10 km) east of Fort Stanwix, New York.
- 1806 – The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by its last emperor, Francis II, during the aftermath of the War of the Third Coalition.
- 1966 – Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (pictured) became emir and ruler of Abu Dhabi, succeeding his brother, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was deposed in a bloodless coup d'état.
- 1988 – New York City Police officers charged a crowd protesting a curfew for the previously 24-hourTompkins Square Park, sparking a riot that led to more than 100 complaints of police brutality.
Today's featured picture
Mikumi National Park is a national park near Morogoro, Tanzania. The fourth largest park in the country, its landscape is often compared to that of the Serengeti. Various species of animal are found here, including lions, zebras, and giraffes.
Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim
Stone-age hunters worshipped and hunted bears at the same time. To show their respect, they sang and danced and prayed that the bear would forgive them for killing it.
US Drops Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima (1945)
After Germany surrendered in May 1945, the Allied forces focused on ending the war in the Pacific. Japan refused to surrender, dismissing the Allies' vows to devastate the country. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was the first ever dropped on a populated area. At least 130,000 people were killed, injured, or declared missing, and 90 percent of the city was leveled by the blast. Another atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki three days later. When did Japan surrender?
Moo-ve Over Cows, There's a New Burger in Town
The reviews are in, and it seems the world's first almost-cowless beef burger leaves a lot to be desired. On Monday, two food writers had the unique opportunity to taste the first hamburger ever made from lab-grown meat. Their reviews were less than stellar. One described the patty as having an "animal protein cake" quality, and even the scientist behind the project acknowledged that the meat's flavor needs improvement. Still, for something grown in a laboratory from cattle stem cells, it was not a bad first attempt.
Margery Kempe: Mother, Mystic, Madwoman
Dating to the 15th century and discovered in its entirety in 1934, The Book of Margery Kempe is perhaps the first autobiography in the English language. Dictated to a scribe by the apparently illiterate Kempe, it chronicles her travels as a religious pilgrim and provides an in-depth account of a middle-class woman's experience in the Middle Ages. The mother of 14 claims that after the birth of her first child, she fell into a bout of madness and had a vision that called on her to do what?
Susie Baker King Taylor (1848)
Born into slavery, Taylor was secretly—and illegally—educated during her childhood. As a young woman, she served as a Union army nurse during the American Civil War. She became the first African American to openly teach former slaves in Georgia and the first African-American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime experiences, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers. How did she end up with Union troops in the first place?
A hunger strike that started over a routine cell search and escalated into a worldwide debate on the future of Guantanamo continues. For some, it may have expedited a release, but to others, it has brought only humiliation.
Embattled Fukushima operator Tepco has been accused of a “weak sense of crisis”, as its failing battle to prevent radioactive water from seeping into the seawater near the plant has become an “emergency”, according to the country’s nuclear watchdog.
A massive computer outage at Sabre airline reservation system overnight was blamed for worldwide flight delays.
Welcome to Australia: a magical land on the bottom of the earth where you can get a pay raise
Reuters / Tim Wimborne
- It’s been a good decade to be Australian. The average Australian household saw incomes jump an inflation-adjusted 49% between the mid-1990s—based on a survey data collected between 1994 and 1995—and the recently released estimates from the same survey conducted between 2011 and 2012, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Granted, things have slowed down a bit recently. Aussie household incomes dipped in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis. And the most recent estimates show median household disposable incomes—a measure that strips out the impact of both the richest and the poorest households—growing at roughly 5%. That’s lower than the 13% income increase seen during the hottest years of Australia’s mining boom, just before the crisis.
But that’s a heck of a lot better than, say, the United Kingdom, where households are facing the sharpest two-year decline in income since the dour years of the mid-1970s.
It’s also far better than the US. US median household incomes were up a paltry 4.5% over the 20 years through 2011, the last year for which data is currently available. (They’ve gone pretty much nowhere since 1995.)
Of course, emulating the Australian economic model—which is largely based on digging stuff out of the ground and selling it to China—would be difficult for the UK or US. And with recent indications that Chinese growth is cooling, it’s probably not a wise bet anyway. But still, for Australians of all stripes, the China-focused commodities boom has been an incredibly enriching experience.
Most of the bankers drooling over Twitter’s IPO aren’t on Twitter
When Facebook was in the midst of choosing financial firms to handle its IPO, bankers pulled out all the stops. Some bankers who weren’t even involved in IPOs were asked to set up a Facebook account as part of the effort to get their firm hired, according to sources.
It remains to be seen whether a similar request will be made of bankers for Twitter’shighly anticipated IPO, which will spark fierce competition among the banks. If bankers want to use Twitter or Facebook in a professional capacity, they have to follow internal compliance rules, US Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines and other standards to prevent them disclosing confidential information. Therefore, few bankers use social media professionally, and the ones who do tweet about broad trends and other generalities, not specific clients or deals.
Some, if not all of the bankers listed here have a good shot of working on Twitter’s IPO (they were also involved with Facebook) but most have been using it, for private purposes, since long before the possibility of Twitter going public became a reality. For tech bankers, in particular, it’s important to be part of the biggest trends in their sector.
One of the first and one of the few to use it professionally is Deutsche Bank managing director Ted Tobiason, who focuses on tech equity transactions, like IPOs, and has built up a following of nearly 2,000 people on Twitter. It took about six months for him to get the OK from Deutsche Bank to be on Twitter professionally and he began tweeting in January 2012.
The tweets are usually an extension of his technology IPO research, which he began sending out to a group of people via email more than 10 years ago. Because he has to submit his Twitter observations to Deutsche Bank for compliance purposes, he tweets in batches. He offers comments like this one:
JP Morgan’s Noah Wintroub, who is global head of internet and digital media, also lists his profession on his Twitter profile. But he uses Twitter more for personal purposes, although he occasionally comments about trends in the technology sector, as in this tweet:
More bankers on Twitter use it personally, like Michael Grimes, Morgan Stanley’s star tech banker who led Facebook’s IPO. He’s only tweeted about 40 times over four years, mostly about sports. He also follows some of his IPO clients, like Zynga and Groupon.
Nick Giovanni, Goldman’s head of internet banking, has been a bit more prolific on Twitter, with more than 500 tweets, many of them commenting on sports. However, he occasionally retweets observations on the tech sector and startup scene, such as this comment from Bill Gurley of the Benchmark venture capital firm:
One former banker who is probably encouraged to tweet now is Cynthia Gaylor, who worked at Morgan Stanley and is now Twitter’s head of corporate development. She’s tweeted more than 70 times since joining Twitter in May—admittedly still pretty slow for someone who works at Twitter.
This fund tracks 36 bubbles—and 33 have completely popped
Jeremy Grantham, the 74-year-old chief investment strategist of Boston-based investment fund Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO), has made his career forecasting market bubbles—with remarkable success. When writing an article on the slowing pace of global growth last week—for which Grantham’s ideas provide significant fodder—my colleagues and I were spellbound by one statistic: of the 36 major bubbles GMO says it tracks, 33 have completely popped, or returned to their prior trends.
GMO won’t say what most of these are, and according to the firm’s quarterly letters, it also tracks a lot more less-major bubbles: 330 by its February 2013 count. For GMO, a “bubble” is simply when the price of an asset in relation to its real value (usually just the “price-to-earnings ratio” in investor-speak) has exceeded its average by a certain amount, and a “major bubble,” a bigger amount (two standard deviations, for statistics aficionados.)
Among Grantham’s accurate predictions: the 2006 housing bubble, the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, the Japanese stock bubble of the late 1980s. More recent predictions: the Australian and UK housing market bubbles, which have yet to pop. Perhaps most worryingly, GMO has been warning of what fellow strategist James Montier calls (pdf) the “foie gras” bubble or the “near-rational” bubble, in which “investors are being force-fed higher risk assets at low prices”—a product of central banks’ loose monetary policies.
The 36 major bubbles GMO follows are pretty improbable, statistically speaking—but in real life, they turn out to be less improbable than expected. In an interview with US TV host Charlie Rose (pdf) earlier this year, Grantham explained (the transcript is unedited):
A bubble we had to make a definition long ago and we decided to have a statistical definition of the kind that would occur every 44 years in a random world. It isn’t a random world but it’s closer than you think. The kind of event that would occur randomly every 44 year occurs in the real world every 30 years. It’s much closer than we expected.
In other words, based on his calculations, markets are more volatile than mathematics says they should be. Grantham accurately predicted the housing bubble—which went along with a bubble in profit margins for corporations—in 2005 (pdf). According to his statistical methodology, this was a 1-in-5,000 year event (pdf). He wrote in February:
It is just statistics, full as always of assumptions, which in this case we hope approach rough justice. What it does definitely mean, though, is that it was extraordinarily unlikely that the extremely diversified U.S. housing market would shoot up like it did and, frankly, even more remarkable that Bernanke and his timid or incompetent advisors could miss it.
According to Grantham, the Federal Reserve (among the world’s other central banks) has gone about its business ignoring bubbles, at least for the 15 years leading up to the financial crisis. He criticizes this approach (pdf, registration required), arguing that central banks should be tasked with mitigating bubbles before they get out of control, instead of focusing on strengthening economies.
In the real world, major asset bubbles are easy to see. They are nearly impossible to miss, in fact. But we travel in a world with a systemic bias to optimism that typically chooses to avoid the topic of the impending bursting of investment bubbles…[The Fed] doesn’t want to move against bubbles because Congress and business do not like it and show their dislike in unmistakable terms.
GMO’s remarkable track record of spotting bubbles—not to mention the severe and lingering economic impact of the US housing bubble—does lend credence to this view. The Fed was thoroughly embarrassed by its failure to treat the US housing bubble before it got out of control. But perhaps, with its threat to dial back its easy money policy in the near future, the Fed is taking a page from GMO’s book.
GMO declined to provide more details about its methodology or current bubbles it’s tracking because those data are proprietary.
While Matthew Brady is perhaps not a name known to many today, at the height of the civil war he was a famed celebrity photographer thanks to his interest in the latest technology and his friendly manner. The son of Irish immigrant farmers had a talent for cajoling presidents, generals and business leaders to sit before his camera, eventually rising above a sea of artistic entrepreneurs offering photographic portraits. He captured or inspired images of the front lines of the Civil War (left and center) and in 1862, he took this portrait of President Abraham Lincoln (right). A book has now been published showcasing his work.
It's usually the players - not the spectators - who strike-out at baseball games. But hopeless romantic David was thrown a curve ball after asking his girlfriend Jessica to marry him at a New Britain Rock Cats minor league game in Connecticut last week. Awkward footage captures the moment David popped the question in front of thousands of people - and didn't get the response he expected.
This seemed like a nice place until I read the reviews.
That dog is perfect.
One of many videos from Clifftop 2013.
This recording is almost 50 years old. I remember the time when 50-year old recording sounded like crap.
Otherwise known as paying for your sins.
See it while you can. By the year 7,200,000 AD, it will have eroded away.
Guns, religion, and alcohol. What a great idea.
Lies may be easier to tell and to hear, but they don't make the truth disappear.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
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